Technology is ever-changing and continues to progress at a greater rate than ever. Our society has become pretty reliant on technology because it tends to make daily tasks a lot easier. Some of these technologies can include modern hidden cameras, improving artificial intelligence, and electric cars. Many industries and fields have been affected or completely transformed by technology. One such industry is the retail industry, a vast market that involves the direct sale of goods and services to customers. Many companies in the retail sector have been incorporating modern technology into their business locations and workflow. But how exactly has new technology changed this sector? Keep reading to find out.
Automation is quite commonplace in many manufacturing and military sectors, but it has started to appear in larger retail stores. Stores have been slowly introducing newer technology in tandem with human staff. This has been seen in two notable forms, which are:
Self-checkout involves customers checking out their items through machines themselves without the use of a cashier. In addition to making the user experience better, it also reduces the labor costs for retail stores. This technology is not as commonplace so far because physical retail stores still rule the sector. However, it is expected that self-checkout kiosks will be seen in larger numbers within a few years.
Robots can play roles in retail, both in-store and within warehouses. In-store robots can help monitor customers to prevent thefts and to stock shelves. These robots can scan shelves and alert employees to any shelves that need to be restocked. This will ensure that inventory is always up to date, which will improve the customer experience. These robots can even take care of cleaning, which is all the more crucial with the pandemic.
Additionally, robots can also scan for inventory on shelves within a warehouse and keep staff aware of where everything is kept. This ensures that the workflow is smooth and efficient. Drones can also be used as a means of delivery by retail stores. There is a lot of potentials here as people do not go outside to buy products due to various lockdowns caused by the pandemic.
Automation brings many benefits to retail store owners, which has led to them investing heavily in them. Some of these benefits are:
- Reduces mistakes – Retail is an industry that still relies on a lot of human labor, resulting in many human errors occurring and stagnating workflow. Automating particular tasks like inventory management, analytics, and payroll monitoring can all help reduce these errors.
- Reduces costs – As previously mentioned, the retail industry depends a lot on human labor, which has become expensive. By automating tasks, you can increase efficiency, which means owners will require less labor. This will help reduce costs as there will be fewer workers on the payroll.
- Customer Satisfaction – By having an efficient workflow, customers will have a smooth experience, increasing their satisfaction. In addition, the automation visible to them will impress them as they will realize how much the store has invested in their experience.
Mobile commerce is on the rise and has been catalyzed by the pandemic forcing people to stay at homes during a lockdown. People are beginning to realize the ease these apps provide as products as delivered to their doorstep without them having to do anything. It is forecast that mobile commerce will continue to increase as more people warm up to it, increasing sales in the retail sector.
Technology has been changing in a lot of sectors and industries, which includes the retail sector. This has been through two primary aspects, which are: automation and M-commerce. These technological advancements have brought a lot of advantages to retail owners as they have enabled them to reduce costs and increase revenue. Automation reduces labor costs and increases efficiency, which, paired with M-commerce apps, has transformed the retail sector technology for the better.